Well, At least when it comes to SIP communication
Well, there has been a great leap in Android support with VoIP. Skype has released a decent client for most Android based phones (with the exception of Galaxy S, and USA Based clients cannot use 3G), and I have discovered another excellent VoIP client for Android called cSipSimple (If you liked Sipdroid I advise you to check this one out as well. It's my current default).
Other than that, the upcoming Android 2.3 is said to have native SIP support which is extremely cool
Having said all that, enjoy my original post 🙂
A Smartphone, as its name implies is… eventually… a smart phone! Exactly! That's what I thought. And as one I should have the ability to run any software that is compatible with its hardware and software.
That turns out to be almost true. VoIP is off the limit.
And it is not because the device cannot handle it, Far from it. It is because mobile companies are afraid for their revenues. When people are using VoIP on their infrastructure, it takes away money from them. Oh you poor phone companies. My heart goes out for you.
And after all the tears run out, I went out to look for some VoIP that DOES work for me. SKYPE of course was off limit. Even though there is "Skype Lite Beta" for Android, it does not support Skype-to-Skype user call. And why should it? Skype is an excellent IM software and VoIP is only secondary (wink).
I then stumbled upon SipDroid. Sip droid is a SIP client for android. This is great if you have a SIP account provider. I for instance, have an account which runs on asterisk server (open source IPBX system).
I got the installation of SipDroid at once! And installed on my phone to try it.
What can I say? It has huge potential. But it is only fully compatible with its mother ship, which is pbxes.com. Luckily (but of course – not a solution) they allow you to enter your own sip account there so you can connect to it through them (like connecting to your neighbor through china… but it works). Although pbxes.com has a strange certification error they claim is negligible.
So, using it directly with asterisk server causes poor outgoing audio which is lame. I'm sure some people might be able to tweak their server to handle it directly and properly but I didn't manage to do that… nor found proper idea sharing on that subject.
But this client is still in beta stage so I honestly believe it will kick ass when it's complete.
It's no Skype, and I hope some Skype-like client like Fring will port soon for Android, but until then, it's better than nothing.
Two important notes if you want to use it:
- If you are planning to download it from the Android Market – You will get a limited version which disables usage of VoIP over 3G/EDGE. So if you want the full one then download it directly from the project page.
- VoIP data, is currently 1.20mb per minute, so watch your data plan